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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Whitey Bulger 12, New York 9, Angie 9, Bulger 7, Clinton 7, Iowa 5, America 5, Us 5, Fbi 4, Donald Trump 4, Chris Christie 4, Obama 4, Sarah Palin 3, Chicago 3, Nbc 3, Boston 2, U.s. 2, United States 2, Lynn 2, Buk 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.   
   (2013) New. (CC)  

    August 12, 2013
    2:00 - 3:01pm PDT  

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thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet? "hardball" is next. >> krirnlgs punishment and a victory for civil rights. let's play "hardball." rime, pun victory for civil rights. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, a landmark day for civil rights advocates winning key victories on a pair of issues. one national, one local, both
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history. attorney general eric holder the nation's top cop and a leading civil rights figure in the obama administration announcing a major overall to easy government drug sentencing guidelines. he was clear, this isn't just about reforming an outdated inefficient and expensive war on drugs, he said. this is about reforming a judicial system of inequality system that will abuses blacks and minorities. this is holdser speak how they're disproportionately involved in that system. >> we also must confront the reality that once they're in that system, people of color often face harsher punishments than their peers. in recent years, black male offenders have received sentences nearly 20% longer than those imposed on white males convicted of similar crimes. this isn't just unacceptable. it is shameful. >> now, the second case in new york city where a federal judge demolished the city's tactics surrounding a controversial stop and frisk law, the law has
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become a flash point for racial tensions nationwide not unlike stand your ground in the trayvon martin case. in her ruling, the judge said that tens of thousand of new yorkers had their rights systemically violated and overwhelming majority of the victims black and hispanic. the city must now follow a strict series of remedies at the court's request including the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee the nypd conduct. the mayor was livid. is the law in convection a declining crime rate has been a part of his legacy. at a press conference today, he didn't hide his disgust particularly when it came to the issue i've monitor. >> if somebody pull agun and you want to get home to your family, you don't have time to say wait a second, the commissioner said one thing, the commissioner said another, by that time you're dead. i'd like to see you go to the funeral and explain to the family why their son or husband or father is not coming home at
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night. >> the share lynn i fill is the president and director of the naacp's he education fund. george pataki a former governor of new york. these are called terry stops. a police officer needs to be operating on more than a hunch. the way new york city was carrying out stop and frisk the judge said resulted in an indirect form of racial profiling >> i totally disagree with the judge. you're probably not surprised by that. i think what we have seen is a dramatic reduction in violent crime in the city. there will be at least 2,000 fewer murderers this year than there were about ten years ago in one year. the vast majority of those victims are minorities. and their lives are being saved because we have a police department and a mayor who are being proactive in going after illegal guns, illegal activity on the street in a way that i believe and i hope the mayor will appeal and is ultimately determined to be constitutional.
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>> share lynn, respond to that and tell me how will this be received in the minority community where the governor points out folks are disproportionately affected by crime. >> let's begin by saying while violent crime has been reduced in new york city, it's been reduced all over this country. in fact, the violent crime rate in this country is where it was in 1966. yet the prison populationing is far beyond where it was in 1966. stop and frisk policies are not about illegal activity. certainly those in the minority community as the governor points out are disproportionately the victims care about illegal activity in the community. but stop and frisk which resulted in the stopping of over 600,000 new yorkers, the vast majority of whom were african-american and latino and which produced arrests of about 1% of those stopped and frisked is about engaging in this conduct towards people doing nothing wrong. it's a form of racial profiling
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and we're thrilled that judge shine lan in this exhaustive 200-page opinion recognized that the activities of the police and this policy infringes on the constitutional rights of new yorkers. >> i think the governor was saying one of the reasons crime has reached the low is because of implementation of programs like stop and frisk. >> one of the things i'm saying is how do you account for the fact that crime has reached a low all over the united states including places where you don't have stop and frisk. the reality is that crime began to go down in new york in the 1990s when david denkens was mayor before we instituted stop and frisk and all over the country crime has been going down. we're at astonishingly low rates of crime in the country. the question is can we begin to create some of the excesses like stop and frisking >> mayor bloomberg was quick to defend the policy's use of stop and frisk arguing the law has been a key part of new york's reduced crime rate just as we mentioned. >> pre day, commissioner kelly
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and i wake up determined to keep new yorkers safe and save lives. and our crime strategies and tools includingston, question, frisk have made new york city the safest big city in america. and i'm happy to say we are on pace for another record low of shootings and homicides this year. because our police officers follow the law and follow the crime. they fight crime wherever crime is occurring and at the don't worry if their work doesn't match-up to a census chart. >> governor, this is a big part of his legacy. he doesn't want to leave office with the record he has intact and all of a sudden be remembered as the guy implementing stop and frisk on an unconstitutional basis >> he should be remembered to the man who helped reduce violent crime to historic levels in this city. we have an seen a decline across the country but haven't seen anything like the dramatic decline in new york city. you can trash new york city
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where we will very policing including stop and frisk with chicago where the rate of minority murders in that city is just unacceptable. share lynn is also right when you look at the sticks. look at the statistics of stop and frisk. it reflects basicallity percentages of those hose ultimately are arrested and charged with crimes in this city. the sad fact is that not only are minorities and an overwhelming percentage of the victims of violent crime, they tragically will also those who most often end up convicted of committing those crimes. >> president obama seemed to speak extemporaneously on that friday. we may have been together analyzing the speech that day. he made the point about african-americans being disproportionately represented on both sides of that deal. >> he it actually stop and frisk policies actually undermine law enforcement because what ends up happening is that ewing men like many of the men who testified and brought forward evidence in
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this case who have been stopped and fricked 1, 13, 14 times in a five-year period, young men in high school and college doing nothing wrong, they and their families later come to distrust the police. they're the same people who are going to sit on juries, the same people we need to call the police to give information about, real crime happening in their communities. and they become distrustful. it sets up a barrier between law enforcement and the communities and that harms african-americans as well as the rest of the residents of the city. >> talk about the sentencing case if we can. because in his speech today, attorney general eric holder combatted criticisms his actions in sentencing reform would be labeled as soft on crime or compromising public safety. the attorney general defended his proposals to ease drug sentencing guidelines by pointing to state programs that have focused on community programs instead of hard line prosecution. >> be clear. these measures have not compromised public safety. in fact, many states have seen
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drops in recidivism at the same time their prison populations were declining. while our federal prison has continued to slowly expand, significant state level reductions have led to three consecutive years of decline in america's overall prison population including in 2012, the largest dprop ever. >> governor, some are saying this is an end run around congress. i happen to think that it is. but i get it. members of congress want to thump their chests and be tough on crime and will vote for mandatory minimums. when it comes time to dial that back, nobody wants to be held accountable. >> i disagree. to the extent the attorney general is proposing to change the sentencing laws, it should be done by statute with congress. i did exactly that in new york state. we put in place policies that provided shock incarceration, community-based treatment for certain low level drug offenders. at the same time we increased
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penalties for those who would have a gun or use a gun or the higher level drug kingpins. when i left office, we had 7,000 people fewer in prison because of those intelligent reforms. >> i don't think they could get it through the congress. i don't think people want to the stand up and vote aye for something that dials it back. it's a political problem. >> i have a record and attitude that is as tough on crime including drug violations as any governor in in state. yet, i was able to propose reforms. when they're done intelligently and when it's an balances and you don't look at it as a way to allow high level drug dealers or those who have a gun to get out early, then you can create a bipartisan consensus for treatment and alternatives to incarceration. >> we have the data here. it's. 5% of the world population, 25% of the world's incarcerated
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population and a 40-year low in crime. can you read all of that together and say, well, one of the reasons why we have such a high rate of incarceration and such low crime is because a lot of the bad seeds have been taken off the street? >> i totally agree with that. one of the things we did was change sentencing not just in the drug we're but we have much tougher sentences for those who are repeat criminals and it's one of the reasons why we saw such a dramatic reduction of crime in new york state. >> listen, in 19 1, the prison pollation in the entire united states was about 200,000. that's now about the federal prison population, about 219,000. overall, we have 2.2 million people incarcerated in the united states. that's a dramatic increase in the last 30, 40 years. we just talked about the all-time low you know in violent crime. we overreached and we broke families and we broke communities. the reality is the vast majority of people who are in prison are
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going to get out. when they get out, they will have the deficit of their record, they have the deficit of what happened to them when they were in primp, they will have precious few resources available to begin their lives again. what the attorney general suggested today is and i think it's fascinating. he's focusing on a little discussed area of authority and power. and that's prosecutorial discretion. he says it's not about end runs around the law. prosecutors have the ability to decide what they're going to charge a criminal defendant with. >> understood >> he says our prosecutors, u.s. attorneys need to use that charging power in a smart way. they need to use it to do just what judge pataki said to, make sure that you come hard against those who is have the record, who have been involved in violent criminal activity but not against people who have a clean record who are involved in nonvi leapt activity. you don't use the drug kingpin statues meant to get the worst of the worst against those kinds of individuals. >> thank you both for being here
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to participate. coming up, what's the one thing that could ruin the fund that reince priebus has been having bashing nbc for bashing a hillary miniseries? that would be if fox was was producing it. it's now your move, reince. also, the gift that keeps on beginning. the iowa caucuses, only 880 days away, give or take a couple of weeks away but already ds and rs are acting like it's 14 degrees and we're in january of 2016. >> plus, whitey bulger is convicted of a bunch of racketeering charges including 11 murders. the government is likely to provide his housing for the rest of his life and perhaps the biggest clown back with more birther nonsense. this is "hardball," the place for politics. redone the house. it's hard to find contractors with the passion and the skill, and that's why we use angie's list. online or on the phone, we help you hire right the first time
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health care law on friday. and now republicans have revived some of the false talking points to discredit it. here's rnc chair reince priebus. >> the fact is, what people don't want are government panels deciding whether something's medically necessary. >> government panels? sounds a lot like those death panels that sarah palin used to talk about. by the way, one reason why more americans oppose obama care than support it, it's getting killed on twitter. can tar media's campaign for media analysis tracks political ads and tweets and found negative tweets outnumber positive tweets by six or seven to one. giving me a sales pitch, especially when it comes to my investments. you want a broker you can trust. a lot of guys at the other firms seemed more focused on selling than their clients. that's why i stopped working at my old brokerage and became a financial consultant with charles schwab.
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. welcome back to "hardball." that hillary clinton mini series hasn't been produced yet and already, there's a plot twist. last week, rnc chair reince priebus spent time on television threatening cnn and nbc he will pull gop debates in the 208916 presidential cycle if both
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networks move forward with planned specials about hillary clinton. but over the weekend, "the new york times" revealed the conservative fox news channel's own sister entertainment division, fox television studios is in talks to produce and distribute the script for the mini series being plans to air on nbc. candy crowley confronted priebus yesterday on cnn. >> "the new york times" is reporting that the nbc clinton series might likely be produced by fox television studios. that's sort of a sister company to fox news. so the if we follow your logic, do you think that there then is a connection to fox news and would they be subject to the same kind of scrutiny? >> i'm going to boycott the company that puts the mini series and the documentaries on the air for the american people to view. i'm not interested in whether they use the same sound studio or whether they use the same set. i don't know the truth of anything you're talking about.
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but i do know what's very clear. is that the company that puts these things on the air to promote hillary clinton including cnn is the company that is not going to be involved in our debates. period. >> so the people that write. >> with me bill carter of "the new york times" and sam stein of the "huffington post." they're arguing about a script that hasn't even been written. >> that's right. and i think first of all, i have no dog in this fight but when i wrote the story and realized that fox had involvement with their entertainment ample, i thought it was certainly interesting and raises the question of, who is really responsible for putting on an entertainment thing and how does it relate to anybody's news division. >> i recognize have you no dog in the fight. it seems like a hard an argument for him to make to say i'm going to hold accountable those networks that air it as compared to those who produce it. when i read your piece and then heard what he had to say as a lawyer, i thought of civil law
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and product liability. those ho get held accountable are manufacturers and developed doors, assuming it's a detective product. >> look, in the entertainment world, there are entangled relationships. nbc picks up the project that was pitched all around and look for a production entity. that the entity will approve the script not they also get the international distribution rights. they have a real vested interest. they are involved. if they do it, they'll be deeply involved. >> does he have egg on his face, sam, or is this all about playing to the base anyway? politically, it's been a very wise move. what about now given what bill carter has reported? >> i wish i had the legal chops to do the legal arguments you're making. i do think he has a bit of egg on his face. i don't get the difference between be distribution. if you're involved in the general product, you're involved in the general product. for priebus, that involvement
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was good enough to get you kicked out of hosting republican debates. by logic, the next question becomes why is fox any less culpable than nbc. let's be brutally frank. this wasn't about anything other than raising money and trying to influence. he was esbasically trying to influence the tenor and tone of the documentary before it was written and aired. >> bill, i want to ask about the impact on the public of these sort of projects. and television, game change comes to mind. the kennedys comes to mind. years ago there was a mccain movie based on that autobiography of his. >> they did reagan which was forced off cbs by the way. >> fahrenheit height 911 in movie theaters or the desousa attempted take-down of obama in the last psych. .do we make too much over the value they would have in swaying minds? >> i think to me the idea that that's going to change someone's
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opinion of hillary clinton seems improbable. that's why the movie is being made. she's an historical figure now. i don't think it could have that impact. you see the news divisions uncomfortable with it. they don't want to be tied into what might be i valentine to the hillary clinton because it will be a sale and it would be a sideshow if that happens. >> i think it's all about ratings. if there were a personality within the gop, that he would be champing at the bit to put on a program about him or her beyond chris christie. i don't know that the christie record is defined to warrant a two-or four-hour treatment. ratings are what matters here. that's why sarah palin was the subject of many of these a couple years ago. with respect to the news divisions and the rnc, my solution is wait for it to air and then make your up judgments. we have no dale if it's going to be flattering or critical. we can make guesses and some of
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them are educated guesses. there's nothing stopping priebus from saying after the airing, that was way too flattering, now i'm going to cancel the debates on cnn or nbc. he's just doing this to influence. and ironically i think he's drawing more attention to a documentary he doesn't want to have aired anyway. >> i think part of the problem for his argument is the line has so totally blurred between celebrity and politics. they're equals now. look at the donald. >> yes. >> he wants to be viewed in both quarts. today is sarah palin a celebrity or -- she's both. >> they all appear on late night shows. they all make shows. they're funny people. cnn who is in the same boat targeted by the rnc said to me they would be happy to do a documentary ob christie. he's really interesting and has news value. i think really you have to separate these things. the entertainment people are interested in ratings and money. one of the things i heard from
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fox television was we think we can make money with this. that's what they want to do. >> will this controversy cause the production unit, the entertainment unit to say this is just too hot? >> i'd say that was possible. it could make this is really going to get big ratings and it will sell internationally. >> sam, you think it drives up their desire. >> why run away from the project now that it's being discussed on cable news ad nauseum? there's so much more interest in this project than it was when it was initially announced. >> hysterical for me to have this conversation about this project. there's no script. there's no script. >> but there is a star. that's another thing. they have a real movie star playing hillary clinton. there's a third movie being made. theatrical movie called "rodham" about her early life. they tried to get like scarlet johanssen and casey mulligan. they want a movie star to play
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hillary. >> thank you. up next, the return of birtherrism in all of its nasty forms. you can follow me on twitter so long as you know how to spell smerconish. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] birdhouse plans. nacho pans.
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back to "hardball." time for the sideshow". missouri's rodeo cowboy association is under fire for a controversial performance at its state fair on saturday. the bull righting event featured a rodeo clown wearing a president obama mask and the actor was then routinely mocked over the p.a. system. take a look. >> mr. obama. >> let me tell these people who we got helping. obama has to stay there. watch out. >> hey, i know i'm a clown. he just runs around acting like
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one. doesn't noel is one. >> you ready? >> obama, they're coming for you this time. >> whoo. >> as soon as the bull comes out, don't you move. he's going to get you, get you, get you. >> that video was filmed by perry bean who also reported another clown ran up and started bob ling is the lips on the mask. here's how he characterized that scene on "the today show." >> like an effigy at a klan rally. there's have been no reason to mess with his lips if he had been a white president. playing on that stereotype, he had to go up there and diddle with his lips. >> the organizers of the event apologized last night. the clown has been banned from performing there ever again. next up, new york mayoral candidate anthony weiner seems to be in on the joke these days. he was marching in the dominican parade over the weekend when he
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reportedly grabbed a giant plantain from a woman in the crowd and waved it around. if this latest photo op seems odd even for him you might be onto the something. the new york post is reporting the candidate is being filmed for a potential documentary. maybe he was hamming it up for the camera. finally, birtherism is still up for debate at least according to donald trump sparring with jonathan carl on abc's this week" on sunday. >> you don't still question that he was born in the united states, do you? >> i have no idea. >> even at this point? >> well, i don't know. was there a birth certificate? you tell me. some people say that was not his birth certificate. >> i'm saying i don't know. nobody knows and you don't know either. you're a smart guy. you don't know either. >> i'm pretty convinced. >> pretty, you said pretty. >> totally without question that he was born in the united states. >> jonathan, you said you're pretty convinced. >> up next, there's still 29 months until the start of the 2016 presidential race but don't tell that to the potential contenders. they're already flocking to
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iowa. you're watching "hardball" it, the place for politics. i am alejandro morales, i was seven months old and my family moved straight to chicago. america is the only country i have ever known. senior year of high school, i was promoted to city court staff commander, i held the rank of cadet brigadier general. i was head of chicago rotc. i want to be a us citizen and i want to be a marine, i'm gonna be a marine, because i care. i care about this country. i care about those around me, i care about my family, my neighbors. you know, i do want to give back, i believe one hundred percent in what this country stands for. let me earn it, you know, let me serve. i just want an opportunity, i just want a chance. to, to show everyone out there that, i am, american and that i will honorably serve this country wearing a marine corp uniform.
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i'm sue herera with your cnbc mark wrap. the dow fwel 5, the s&p dropped 1 and the nasdaq added 9 in a slow day of summer trading. it was a battle of the smartphones as apple jumped amid news sits next generation iphone may be unveiled september 10th. and black ber announced sits exploring new business news which could include a partnering or sale of the company. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide and now back to "hardball."
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>> welcome back to "hardball." if political activity in the state of i wat this weekend is nel indication, it's game on for the 2016 presidential race. is the consecutive family leadership summit attracted some of the high octane names often mentioned as 2016 contenders. >> more important regulatory reform that we can do than to repeal every single word of obama care. >> my challenge to the republican party is to take a page out of our book. and start putting forth an agenda of ideas to raise up folks who want to vote for us. you saw for the last election, they didn't want to the vote for president obama but at least he went out and talked to them. >> on the democratic side, word that vice president biden will be in iowa next month to speak at senator tom harkin's annual
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steak fry. also attending san antonio mayor castro ho had a high profile speaking is slot at last year's democratic national convention delivering the keynote address, the same speaking spot that launched president obama's presidential arcing in 2004. even though hillary clinton didn't set foot in the state of iowa, she didn't need to in order to be the topic of presidential conversation at an emily's list event on friday. >> getting everyone excited now about what i hope will be that moment in 2017 when we all get to say madame president toll hillary rodham clinton. >> so let the games begin. susan page is washington bureau chief for "usa today." michael controlly is a senior correspondent for "time" magazine. michael, i love this stuff.
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i think "hardball" watchers love this stuff. others might be thinking, oh, it's just too soon. what is the importance of the early jockeying? >> well, you know, on some level it's not that important. a lot of the people who get early attention and applause at these things don't end up going anywhere, you know, we'll recall how michele bachmann won the straw poll last time around. you know, but there is -- there are these invisible primaries underway and particularly i think the most interesting one right now is this jackying to be the kind of -- there's clearly going to be a moderate establishment candidate, a romneyesque candidate. might be someone like chris christie. a lot of people want to fill the more of the more tea party hard-core take no prisoners is conservative candidate. so i think what's happening right now to a large degree is jockeying, for instance, including cruz and rand paul to be that more conservative alternative. but this is all, you know, it's
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still very nebulous. i think for cruz the most important thing is to boost name recognition. it helps him to have more attention in washington and be effective in the senate. >> good for cruz regardless of whether he actually runs. susan it looks already like there are a lot of folks interested in that gop field, could be a big field. so let me read into it and say, if it is a big gop field and if it consists of the rand pauls and ted cruzs and the risk santorums, that's good news for chris christie. >> because you divide the right side of the party. you don't think there's any chance americans will get sick of this contest if we start covering it now, do you? do you think they're ready for a 3 1/2 year presidential campaign? maybe viewers of this show. you know, chris christie has a difficult needle to thread. if you fragment the party on the other side, maybe that opens the door to it. people are trying to raise their hands to say, hey, you can't do much now. you can't raise money. you can't get organized in these
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states like iowa and new hampshire. but you can meet the activists and make sure when people are putting together a list of possible contenders for the wide open race on the gop side, that your name is on it. >> let's talk about the donald. truch found himself in iowa this weekend addressing the family leadership summit with his take on the 2016 race. >> obama should have been beaten. hillary's going to be tougher to beat. anel the republicans have to do what's right. if they don't pick the right person, and i mean the right person, perfect, it's got to be the perfect person, they are going to get drubbed in the 2016 election. >> now, it's worth remembering that donald trump has been inserting himself into presidential politics going back to 1988 and his for rays often
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accompany his need to promote a book, a show or just himself in general. steve kornacki pointed this out in the last election cycle in a piece for salon tighted "trump's white house con began 24 years ago in the 1988 cycle," publication of his book "the art of the deal," coincided with his denials that he was running for president. in the 2000 cycle, he toyed with the idea of running for president while also promoting his book "the america we deserve," and in 2012 when trump flirted with a presidential run, he was also drawing attention to his primetime reality show the "celebrity apprentice." so michael, evaluate the donald factor >> he wrote this book "the america we deserve." i guess he's sort of the circus clown that this process deserves. in a way the media deserves. we talk about these candidates before they really show any sign of real serious investment.
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we need stories to cover and trump somewhat masterfully exploits that. i don't think there's any reason to take him seriously given the past record you just described. to some degree we're his enablers by talking about him. he's an entertaining character. i think to the degree there's anything substantive to say about it, it's bad for republicans for him to be part of the mix. i think they're trying to get past this idea that the primary's last time around were -- again, it was a clown car, it was a circus. these are the phrases you hear even everybody republican activists. i think the attention trump is getting at this point kind of creates that atmosphere again it's a free-for-all and anyone can get in. >> to michael's point i think that's the long-term implication. this continues to be the face of the gop, whether it's donald trump, whether it's ted cruz. i'm going to show a clip in a moment. in fact, right now. it will rafael cruz, senator cruz's father also spoke at the summit and compared president
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obama to fidel castro. >> a young charismatic leader rose up talking about hope and change. his name was fidel castro socialism requires that government becomes your god. that's why they have to destroy the concept of god. they have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. that's what is behind homosex is marriage. >> susan, the point being that this continues to be the face, the brand of the gop. i doubt any of the people that we've just discussed who were on those stages is going to be the nominee and could be elected president, but people sitting at home much waing this sort of thing that reinforces that's where the party is today. >> you know, i agree with you. i think that what reverend cruz was talking about comparing barack obama to fidel castro played pretty well in that audience but it's the kind of thing that makes it very
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difficult for republicans to appeal to voters in the middle if you're going to win a presidential is election. and in that way, i think that that speech is more damaging than the appearance by donald trump. >> i agree with you. >> let me wrap up if i might. courtesy of nbc's first read, a reminder of how early we are in the 2016 race. at this point in the '08 cycle, august of 2005, this was the state of play. senator george allen was considered at least the cofront-runner for the nomination. here he is with the headline "his future is now," and first string presidential talent out of virginia. a year later he lost his bid for re-election. hillary clinton was seen as the overwhelming favorite on the democratic side. as for eventual winner barack obama, he had been a senator for only seven months and wasn't viewed as a presidential contender. there you go. thank you susan page, michael crowley. up next, the verdict in the
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racketeering and murder trial of whitey bulger. this is "hardball," the place for politics. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify.
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found him guilty of 31 out of 32 counts including murder, money laundering and extortion. the 83-year-old bulger called the trial a sham for many it seemed like his focus during the two-month trial was disputing charges by the prosecution that he was an fbi informant. he also strongly denied he ever killed women. the trial was heavy on drama with bulger often cursing his former criminal associates testifying against him but surprising to some he never took the stand himself. for more on the case, we're joined by kevin cullen, a columnist for the boston globe author of "whitey bulger," and george and nas tashal who co-authored the autobiography of former vega mayor oscar good mann who got his start as a mob lawyer. george, speak about the mind-set of guys like this this honor, this code business where it's like okay if you say you were a
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mafia kingpin but please don't say i killed women and please don't say i was a snitch. >> that's a an position he took in this case. the facts is undermine that. bulger had this, i think, enhanced image of who he was. and i think kevin who has written extensively about him can speak more to that than i could. whitey bulger created a persona that wasn't reality. i think what we saw in this trial and this evidence, this is the real whitey bulger. he is a despicable individual. >> kevin, were you surprised that he did not take the stand in his own defense? i asked that. it's common in criminal trials. but in this case, it seemed like this guy had a story he wanted to tell. >> i think he did. but in the same time, michael, i wrote a column the day after he did not testify. and i said at the end of the day, whitey bulger is a bully, and all bullies are cowards. i don't think he had the courage to stand up and say what he did.
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more, he did not want to submit himself to cross-examination when prosecutors would have brought out he had been a snitch as far back as 1956 when he gave up his bank robbery accomplices. >> was he a snitch, and did he kill women? >> well, a jury found today that he killed deborah hasse. the jury cod co. not reach a verdict on the killing of deborah davis, the girlfriend of his long-time criminal associate steve flemmi. but as i said to stevie davis, her brother, he was crushed obviously. if you look at what the jury did, i think the jury did an excellent job. i think most jurieses do excellent jobs. they did not support any uncorroborated evidence. they basically said if the evidence was uncorroborated, we would not support it. in the case of the killing of deborah davis, it came down basically to stevie flemmi's account there was hearsay evidence of what came
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afterwards. stevie flemmi is as big a degenerate as whitety bulger. >> you wrote a book about mob movies. the courtroom had all these colorful exchanges. in one instance he disrupted kevin weeks after weeks testified that it bothered he him that bulger was an informant for the fbi. quote, because we killed people that were rats, and i had the two biggest rats right next to me. and from his seat in the courtroom bulger screams. you suck. weeks responds f you, okay? and bulger says f you too. and then weeks says what do you want to do? and he jumped to his feet on the witness stand before the judge calmed things down. george, it's straight out of a screenplay. >> well, that's been the whitey bulger saga. you can't make this stuff up. one of the things that gets lost in this, this case is an indictment of the way the fbi operates. it was an indictment of let's get la cosa nostra at any cost, and i think that's what happened here. bulger was able to manipulate at least two fbi agents and
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undermine the system. and i think that has gotten lost in the story of whitey bulger in this trial. >> hey, kevin cullen, tell us, remind us, tell us what became of whitey bulger's girlfriend, the woman with whom he was on the lam and living in santa monica. >> kathy greg. she was sentenced to eight years in the same court a year ago. and she wouldn't talk. she went out as a tammy wynette of south boston. she stood by her man. didn't say anything. and of course talking to a lot of the families here, the victims' families, they know that whitey bulger stashed money all over the country, if not all over the world. he had safety deposit boxes in dublin, london, paris. so they're saying where is the money. does kathy know? does his brother billy, the former politician know? does his brother jackie who was here every day for the trial know? all the families believe there is millions of dollars stashed out there. that's the mystery there is no
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mystery. hey, whitey bulger was thug and a killer, and the jury just said that. >> thank you so much. when we return, let me finish with a regular rite of summer, albeit a misguided one, criticizing the president for taking a vacation. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ears of musi is being streamed. a quarter million tweeters are tweeting. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot. it's time to build a better enterprise. together. help the gulf when we made recover and learn the gulf, bp from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology,
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let me finish tonight with this. the first family is on vacation in martha's vineyard. this is their fourth vacation
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trip to the island. they skipped last year in the midst of the 2012 campaign. the president, he hit the links with the press pool watching both yesterday and today. i notice that this morning drudge was leading with a story that talked about the arrival of bo, the family dog via an osprey helicopter, the number of hotel rooms needed for secret service, and the presence of a mesh bag filled with basketballs in the luggage. criticizing a president's vacation, especially this president's vacation has become a rite of summer. to learn more of the facts, today i chatted with mark knoller. he is the white house correspondent for cbs news, but he is more than that. he is the go-to statistician for presidential behavior, and he often shares his data with colleagues, sometimes with the presidents themselves. he maintains lists of literally everything the commander in chief does, from bill signings to pardons, vetoes, air force one flights, marine one trips and vacation destinations, even church attendance. you should follow h him @markknoller.
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it's a must. as for the numbers, since taking office, president obama has taken 14 vacation trips spanning all or part of 95 days. how does that compare? at the same point in his presidency, bill clinton had taken 11 vacation trips for 84 days. ronald reagan made 29 visits to his ranch for 180 days. at the same point in office, president george w. bush had made 50 visits to his texas ranch totalling all or part of 323 days. knoller said that he always puts the word "vacation" in quotes because as he said u.s. presidents don't really get to take a vacation. the job comes with them 24/7. well, i'm hoping president obama plays lots of golf in the next couple of days or shoots hoops or whatever else he needs to do to maintain his mental edge. i felt the same way about president george w. bush, and i never begrudged him his time at the ranch. all told he was there during 490 days during his presidency. the health of the country is
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largely a function of the physical and mental health of its commander in chief. and if blowing off a steam with a couple of bogeys or a beer in the clubhouse keeps him sharper when the red phone rings, we're all better off for it. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being was. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, michael, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, a big victory for justice and civil rights. today a federal judge ruled that new york's stop and frisk program violates the constitutional rights of minorities, a ruling with huge implications for cities all over the country. the judge's scathing decision condemned the new york police saying they, quote, adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops. and then, quote,

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